Haiti has a severe lack of medical training programs. St. Boniface Hospital is one of the primary sites for doctors who have completed their medical schooling to gain on-the-job training.
SBH is a leading site for professional medical training in Haiti. Each doctor, nurse, and pharmacist who completes her or his initial medical schooling in Haiti is required to do one year of "social service" training at a hospital or medical facility affiliated with the Haitian Ministry of Health (the MSPP). Every year, SBH accepts 12 social service trainees for a year of general practice training and service.
SBH also trains dozens of specialty residents each year. Specialty residents have completed their social service year but wish to continue their training in a specific are of medicine, such as surgery; maternal, neonatal, and child health; and emergency medicine. Specialty residents spend approximately one month at SBH before moving on to train at other hospitals across Haiti. Because we never turn patients away, SBH sees a greater range of cases than most other care facilities. Residents therefore gain more hands-on training and exposure to a wide range of medical conditions than they do at any other facility. When they leave SBH, residents take the skills they’ve learned to other hospitals across Haiti, elevating the level of care provided throughout the country.
Many other countries have continued examinations to renew medical licenses, but that’s not the case in Haiti. Training enables our staff to give top-notch care to patients and to respond effectively and quickly to urgent situations. Without training and continued educational opportunities, I would never have learned many new methods and techniques or been up-to-date with current standards of care. That’s not fair to patients. We must continue to learn the best standards of care and apply them in our work every day. – Ms. Kenide Bien-Aime, Head of Nursing at SBH